[Narrator] Meanwhile, back on Planet Cater, the Annual Young Cat Hoverboard Race was nearing the end.
[Time: 10 AM]
Star Cat’s brothers, Jon (brown eyes) and Chris (green eyes), were in the lead and zooming towards the finish line. They were side by side, neck and neck, but only one of them would win. With the wind whipping back their whiskers, their only obstacle was each other, or so it seemed. At the last second, a pretty-crazy-little-kitty-fan jumped out from the crowd, trying to tackle the boys to the ground. The pretty-crazy-little-kitty-fan leaped out as far as she could, just touching the back of Chris’s hoverboard with her paw as she screamed, “I LOVE YOU!”
Chris managed not to fall off his board even though that pretty-crazy-little-kitty-fan knocked him off balance. However, Jon did end up beating Chris in the race because of the incident. Luckily for Chris and Jon, the pretty-crazy-little-kitty-fan was escorted out of the race track by the police. Chris was somewhat upset that he didn’t win, but he stayed optimistic by telling himself that, even though Jon won the race, he would never win the “war”, whatever that means. Who knows who would have won the race if the pretty-crazy-little-kitty-fan hadn’t interfered, right?
During the prize ceremony, Jon looked over at Chris and said, “Hey bro, Star Cat has always come in third place. I wonder why she didn’t make the top three this year. Do you think we’re just superfast? Or did she just get worse?”
“Pffff! She probably hasn’t even crossed the finish line yet,” said Chris trying not to look at Jon so he could continue smiling and waving to all the other pretty kitties in the crowd.
“Maybe she just couldn’t take coming in third place again. I mean, I’m totally fine with second place, but if I came in third every year,” Chris said shaking his head, “ugh…I don’t think I could live with myself.”
Giggling smugly to himself, Jon replied, “Yeah, I don’t even know why she keeps trying. We’re never going to let her win, but I don’t like having a stranger standing in her third-place spot on the pedestal. It’s just not right.”
“We’ll find her after the ceremony and let her hold our medals,” said Chris maintaining eye contact with and waving to the crowd of pretty kitties. “I think she’ll like that, but, for now, stop talking to me dude! Can’t you see I’m trying to make a good impression here?”
[Narrator] So, Jon stopped talking to Chris while they were up in front of the huge crowd receiving their awards. After they had their pictures taken and signed countless autographs for all the other pretty-little-not-so-crazy-kitties, Chris and Jon hovered back home. Once they were there, Momma Cat came outside and congratulated them for winning. She had seen the whole thing on T.V., but she didn’t see Star Cat in the race at all, which really concerned her. She told the boys that they needed to go find Star Cat and bring her back home. She thought that maybe Star Cat decided not to go to the race because she didn’t want to come in third place again. Whatever the case, Momma Cat was worried. She knew how much Star Cat loved her brothers, so she thought it would make her feel better about losing if they let her hold their medals. “Dinner is at 6 PM boys. Don’t be late,” said Momma Cat, “and I love you!” Chris and Jon reluctantly agreed to go fetch Star Cat. So, they turned right around, sat down on their front step and started brain storming.
[Time: 10:30 AM]
“Well this is ridiculous!” said Chris. “I just won second place in the Annual Young Cat Hoverboard Race, and now I have to get back on my hoverboard to look for my little sister? Come on!”
“I’m starving,” said Jon. “We need to find her fast before my stomach eats itself.”
Then, Chris jumped up and asked, “Do you still have that tracking device that Poppa Cat made for all of our hoverboards?”
Jon jumped up, ran into the garage for a few minutes, and came back out holding a red rectangle with a screen on it. “It’s a little old school,” he said as he handed it to Chris, “but it should work.”
Chris fumbled with the clunky device for a few seconds until it turned on, and then he set the tracking signal for hoverboard number three, Star Cat’s hoverboard. Suddenly the words, ‘NO SIGNAL,’ popped up on the screen. In shock, Chris said, “This can’t be right! It must be broken or something.”
Taking the GPS out of Chris’s paws, Jon examined it briefly and said, “It isn’t broken. It just looks as though she’s no longer in range of the GPS. So, she must be really far away.”
The thought of Star Cat being lost really worried her brothers. “What should we do?” said Chris in a panic.
“Um,” said Jon pushing some more buttons on the GPS and trying to be optimistic, “it probably just froze up since it’s so old. It does still show us exactly where she was right before the signal cut out, so I say we go there first.”
[Narrator] Quickly, the boys hopped on their hoverboards and went flying away, headed straight for the same deserted street/road that Star Cat was kitten-napped on! The boys stopped right before the entrance to the big tunnel where Star Cat was hit by CKM’s hover craft. Then, they noticed the light at the end of it.
Wailing loudly, Jon fell to his knees on his hoverboard and cried, “NOOOOOOOOOO! She was too young to die! WHAAAAAAAAAA!”
“What are you talking about?” asked Chris, “Quit blubbering, Jon! She’s not dead!”
Wiping away some of the tears from his eyes, Jon sniffled, “Well, sure she is! She must have hovered towards the light at the end of the tunnel. She’s dead. Haven’t you ever heard the nursery rhyme, Chris?”
“Of course, I have! Everyone’s heard that before, but look,” said Chris as he pointed to the edge of the road, “her helmet is over there. She never goes anywhere without her helmet, and she certainly wouldn’t think about dying without it.”
As Jon looked over to where Chris was pointing, he did see a sparkly pink helmet with tons of stickers all over it. Sure enough, it was Star Cat’s. It even had her name on it, making it inarguably hers. So, Jon hovered over to pick it up, but when he reached down for it, he suddenly hesitated and said, “Hey Chris, you might want to come and have a look at this.”
Chris hovered over right beside him, looked down at the helmet on the ground, made a grossed-out face, and said, “What is that yellow goop that’s all over it?”
Jon’s eyes grew big with hunger. “Smells like cheese,” said Jon, “but stand back. I’ll test it for poison.”
“No!” said Chris pulling Jon away from the helmet. “Don’t eat that! You don’t know where it’s been. Let’s take it to that cheese festival that’s going on in town right now. Maybe one of the experts there will be able to tell us what kind it is, or something.”
“Fine,” said Jon. He reluctantly picked up the helmet and said, “Let’s go get this over with!”
[Narrator] They started to hover through the tunnel, towards town, but then quickly decided to stop after reflecting on the nursery rhyme. They were afraid they would die if they hovered through the tunnel to the light at the end. So, they went around the tunnel, and after avoiding certain death, they made it to the cheese festival. The boys quickly began asking every vendor to smell Star Cat’s cheesy helmet to see if anybody could recognize it.
Finally, they found one very old mouse lady, dressed in what looked like gypsy clothing, who immediately recognized the smell of the cheese. With a fortune teller’s finesse, she reached out with her long nails, scraped some of the cheese from the helmet, and tasted it slowly. Then she puckered up her face, made a few smacking sounds with her lips, and said in a raspy voice, “Boys, this cheese is, if I’m not mistaken, only found on Planet Swiss Cheese. It is his Royalty’s, the King’s special blend of cheddar and pepper jack, created by his finest chefs. Nobody else in the universe is allowed to make or sell this cheese except for the CKM. He had it copyrighted or something.”
“Really?” asked Chris and Jon simultaneously in disbelief.
“Yes. Would you like to know how I know that?” asked the old mouse lady.
Chris and Jon both shouted, “Yes!” at the same time again, eagerly awaiting her answer.
Leaning over her cheese stand and motioning with her fingers for the boys to lean in closer, she whispered, “If you buy some of my cheese, I can tell you.”
Chris stepped back in anger and yelled, “What! Why can’t you just tell us? We really need to know if you’re telling the truth or not!”
“Well I guess you really don’t need to know if you don’t want to buy any of my cheese, do you?” replied the gypsy mouse lady.
“Here,” said Jon handing her some money, “I’ll take a wheel of your creamiest cheese please.”
Snatching the money from Jon’s hands she said, “Thank you very much!”
“Okay, lady, now tell us how you know this cheese is CKM’s.” said Chris grabbing the wheel of cheese from her as she handed it over to them.
“I’m the one who came up with the secret recipe for his cheese,” she whispered. “I’m the one who made it all happen.” Then she shouted, “I’m the one who created the greatest cheese in the galaxy!” She laughed maniacally, “Muuuuaaaaaaahahahaha! Muuuuuaaaaaahahahahahaha!”
Chris and Jon were beginning to get really freaked out by the scary old mouse gypsy lady, and they both backed up a bit on their hoverboards. Then, in between bites of cheese, Jon said, “Okay lady, thank you! We have to leave now!”
Turning around on their hoverboards to try to make a run for it, they both yelled, “Bye!” but, before they could fly away, the mouse lady grabbed the ends of their boards and pulled them back in towards her cheese stand.
Chris cried out in fear, “What are you going to do to us, you crazy mouse lady?”
“Please don’t kill us!” cried Jon, “We’ll leave forever if you let us go!”
Having realized that she really scared the two boys since they were whimpering in fear, the old mouse gypsy lady let them go and said, “I’m sorry I frightened you. I just wanted you to try some more of my cheese before you left and tell me what you think about it.”
“Oh,” said Chris and Jon. They collected themselves quickly and hoped nobody noticed all of that embarrassing crying. Then, taking a few nibbles of her various cheeses, they both agreed that it all was delicious.
The mouse lady started whispering to them and said, “Boys, I’m not sure how you got your hands on that cheese but be very careful with it. It is the most valuable cheese in the universe. Tell no one you have it.”
Jon leaned in to the old lady and whispered, “This helmet is my sister’s, and she went missing. If what you have told us is true, then how did this rare cheese get on her helmet? Do you think CKM has something to do with this?”
“He was just here earlier today helping me set up my stand,” said the lady. “So, it is very possible that the King’s and your sister’s paths may have crossed.” Getting distracted, she smiled and said, “I’m his favorite chef, you know.”
“Okay,” said Chris getting a bit irritated, “so how do we find CKM? Do you have his phone number? Maybe we could call him and ask if he’s seen her?”
The old lady said, “Well, he doesn’t believe in phones. So, the only thing you can do is ride over to Planet Swiss Cheese and ask him about her yourself.”
Jon looked at Chris and said, “If we leave now, we can probably talk to CKM, get Star Cat back, and be home by dinner time.”
Throwing his paws up in the air and shaking his head in disbelief, Chris said, “Okay! Let’s go!”
[Time: 11 AM]